The dynamics of the logistics industry create serious challenges for carriers, freight forwarders and customers. Problematic situations arise on a daily basis. Losing control of a problem while it is still in its infancy makes solving it much more difficult.
How can logistics companies can benefit from mediation?
The logistics industry needs a mechanism to match its dynamics, namely an adaptable, dynamic, flexible and fast model through which disputes can be resolved efficiently. The mediation procedure is the means that would perfectly incorporate into the transport industry to help it continue to develop at a rapid pace.
Mediation is an alternative means of resolving disputes. It is precisely an alternative because it is an option that the parties have and the choice of which depends solely on their will. By agreeing to a mediation procedure with the assistance of a mediator, the parties aim to reach a mutually beneficial solution and agreement between them. Of course, the parties to a pending dispute may also proceed to mediation at any time and reach an agreement only with the mediator’s proper communication guidelines.
The mediation procedure is distinguished by certain principles which most clearly describe its nature, namely: voluntariness, equality, neutrality, impartiality and confidentiality. In view of these basic principles, the disputants have equal opportunities in the mediation procedure. They participate of their own free will and may withdraw at any time. It is also extremely important that the mediator does not show partiality and does not impose a solution on the dispute. In the mediation procedure, all issues are settled only by mutual agreement of the parties.
In order to gain a better insight into the nature of mediation, we should distinguish mediation from court and arbitration proceedings. While in the latter two proceedings the decision is made by a judge or arbitrator on the basis of the applicable law, in mediation the parties themselves resolve the dispute with the help of the mediator on the basis of their personal needs or business interests. Another important difference should not be overlooked, namely that court and arbitration proceedings follow a strictly formal procedure laid down in law or rules, whereas in mediation there is an informal and flexible procedure which is modelled and individualised according to the needs of the parties and the type of dispute respectively.
The advantages offered by the mediation procedure are significant in number and can be structured as follows:
1.Speed of outcome – this is one of the main advantages of mediation compared to court proceedings in particular. The parties can usually reach a mutually beneficial solution within 1-2 sessions, which would not take more than a month. Conversely, if the dispute is taken to court, it can take a considerable period of time to consider and resolve.
2.Lower financial cost – resolving the dispute in mediation would cost much less financially than court proceedings;
3.Convenience – no formal procedures;
4.Control – the parties have overall control over the development of the procedure;
5.High success rate and getting to the heart of the problem;
6.Preservation of alternative options – referring the dispute to a mediator does not deprive the parties of the possibility, if they fail to reach an agreement, to seek protection of their rights and interests in court or in arbitration;
7.Preservation of relations – resolving the dispute in mediation allows the parties to preserve good relations and continue their cooperation;
Most likely, after clarifying the nature of mediation, the question arises: How can mediation work in transport? The answer is clear – mediation is widely applicable in the transport sector as it would help to resolve the conflicts that inevitably arise on a daily basis. In view of the dynamics of the transport industry, mediation is the means by which disputes arising can be resolved in a quick, efficient and above all cost-effective manner.
Furthermore, business relations in transport are very important and as such should be preserved for the future. A mediator would help the two disputing parties to confront the problem, generate as many solutions as possible in the interests of the parties, find the balance in the demands of both parties so that they can reach a mutually beneficial solution and continue to cooperate with each other, rather than worsen their relationship as happens most often in litigation.
And what is the value for companies? Mediation gives a lot – companies reach quick and efficient solutions in line with their direct business interests – a very important circumstance in view of the dynamics in the transport industry. Mediation saves a lot of costs – a definite plus in view of the difficult economic situation we are in. Last but not least, mediation helps the parties to maintain good relations with each other and to continue working together – this fact also has a positive impact on the economic situation of the companies.
Mediation is best suited to the dynamics of the logistics industry. The latter requires quick, effective and forward-looking solutions, and mediation is able to help the parties themselves reach precisely such solutions.